11/14/11

Ride Home 11/14

I have a helmet blinky and I affixed it to my helmet yesterday and now I'm twice as blinky. I also ordered some new lights that even are blinkier than my current lights and soon I will be sufficiently blinky to the point that I won't need to mention how blinky I am ever again, much to all of our relief. Am I that Japanese cartoon show that gives kids seizures? I still down really have enough forward facing light to actually illuminate my way on a dark path, which leads me over a number of bumpy patches of road that I probably ought to have avoided. But it's fine for the city riding of my normal commute.
Sometimes in my desire to keep going forward I make the mistake of bailing to the sidewalk, which is ultimately much slower than just stopping and merging into the travel lane traffic. I did this after riding for a stretch behind an Old Town Trolley. Don't worry, I know what you're thinking, but it's ok: the company is American-owned and operated. I think that's part of the Jones Act or something.
Is it depressing to be the fourth cyclist in a line of four who's the only one with lights? Maybe, but I'll just take the glass-half-full approach and say that I was doing community service and alerting passing drivers of our presence. Seriously, #bikeDC, get your shit together and get some lights. It shouldn't be surprising anymore that it's dark. One of the bicyclists in front of me was playing some sort of radio or stereo, speakers 'a-blazing, foisting her musical taste (I didn't recognize it) on the rest of us. I don't appreciate this kind of cultural imperialism. I met her by whistling sad, sort of droning Hungarian music. Sure.
I think that drivers 'get it' when a bicyclist has to leave the bike lane because it's blocked. I find the key is just to signal and do it early, well before you get to the obstacle (car). Don't be coy about it, either.
I seriously need to stop taking 11th below Mass. It's just not good. And the buses!
Nice going on Penn and through the Capitol. Someone decided to ride too closely to my back wheel and I found that annoying. I met this annoyance by gunning it up the hill, perhaps too proudly. I'm sure it was an old lady, but in any case, I dropped her. Take that old lady.
Caution tape by the Capitol entrance on First. Great. I said "Are you kidding me?" and I hope the guards heard. Do my tax dollars really need to go to making it that much harder to ride my bicycle? (Not that they don't already given how much of them go to subsidizing highways and oil or whatever) Along East Capitol, I rode behind a family for a while, but the older girl got stuck behind a car blocking the bike lane and came to a stop instead of taking the lane. I don't blame her. The mom and younger daughter waited for her at the next intersection. So, there you go. Blocking the bike lane separates families. Happy now, pizza guy?
My rear fender was rattling the whole way home and I didn't know why until I took my bike inside and saw that I lost a nut on one of the fender stays. I was able to remedy this by taking a nut off a pair of broken fenders that I've kept for the last six months. Huzzah for redundancy.

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